So Alhamdulillah, the long story of why my wrist hurt and typing became torture is summed up as thus:
I had torn cartilage in my wrist – not because I was out fist-fighting or getting injured in air-guitar championships, but because I have a connective tissue disorder and therefore wear, tear, and constant repair is the name of the long-term game.
I will kind of always be broken, and I have come to accept that even if I don’t love it. At all.
So I finally had surgery on my wrist this Aug 23rd, and they fixed the torn cartilage with stitches and then put me in a cast up to my bicep for six weeks. I used to think casts were cool and I always wanted one. Boy, was I wrong.
Not only was having my arm in a cast a constant source of pain, it also caused my arm to atrophy. I am told this is expected with immobilization. And then I go whaaaaaaaaa? because it doesn’t make all that much sense to me, fixing one problem by creating one and a half.
So my hand is in rehab, and the rest of me plays along. It is painful, learning how to re-use my left hand, asking things of my fingers whose flexor and extensor tendons seized up and shrunk weeks ago. My physiotherapist says ok, now make a fist! So my brain politely asks of my hand, fist? And my left hand says IN YOUR DREAMS BUDDY and the most I can manage is some sort of hard, small, claw-like posture.
We call it my monkey-hand. The kids and I, we know that my monkey hand’s not going to be making fists or high-fives any time in the next nine months or so, so we give my hand time and space.
My awesome little humans, Khalid, Iman, and Musfira- have grown to be so helpful, so considerate, and so independent that it breaks my heart, them taking care of me versus me of them. But it’s a happy sort of heartbreak I suppose. You always want your kids to learn empathy and compassion- though not necessary ON you, as FROM you.
I digress. Shaykh Abdul Naser Jandga made an awesome point in the last class of his I attended, and he said this:
Think of spiritual rehabilitation like your would physical rehabilitation. It will never feel good. It will always be hard work. You can go three times a week, 8 weeks straight and still take no joy – but at some point you’ll find that you can use your body again properly.
It’s the same with your soul- going through the motions of prayer – of your spiritual rehabilitation – will hurt, and it will be hard, and you may never find any joy in it. But you find, after some time, that your heart works properly again.
He’s right, physiotherapy is painful and awful but it’s pain with a purpose that I’m totally on board with. Already my monkey-hand can do more typing – two months post-surgery- than my old left hand could do in many years, Alhamdulillah.
May Allah make it easy for everyone putting in the pain to make things work properly again. Ameen.